San Francisco city leaders and residents met at San Francisco City Hall to discuss the protection of bike riders in the city after the death of a pedicab driver and a recent decision to scrap some protections for bikers.
A group of cyclists showed up to City Hall just weeks after losing one of their own.
"For the first time, we’re all going to be wearing white," said cyclist Matt Breina. "We are going to protect the street location where Kevin Manning’s ghost bike is."
Pedicab driver Kevon Manning’s tragic hit-and-run death happened on a section of the Embarcadero, one of two areas the city highlighted for biker safety improvements, along with this ripped-up corridor near the Cal Train station. But plans for those protections recently stalled out.
Construction on the Downton extension for Cal Train has been going on for a long time, creating what some cyclists call “a death trap” without the proper protections.
"We see projects disappearing, we see them being delayed," said cyclist David Golden from People Protect Bike Lane. "And as was so evident on the Embarcadero recently, a delay means a death, or an injury."
Paul Valdez with the SF Bike Coalition showed the board pictures of people who have been victims.
"They always have to wait for someone to die, in the case of Kevin Manning on the Embarcadero," Valdez said. "Unfortunately my heart goes out to his family, and his loved ones. And unfortunately that’s probably why it’s back on the table."
Director of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, Ed Reiskin addressed the delay on the stretch that is now getting a review and redesign.
"We certainly don’t want anyone to be added to the photo collage that we saw," he said. "That’s not why we’re here."
Reiskin says he’s ridden his own bike on Townsend and knows first-hand how dangerous it is. However, he wants to be as "strategic as possible" in the use of funds to get safety improvement on the ground much faster.